This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
Economic experts challenged Scotland's politicians yesterday to tackle inequality, warning that tinkering with tax rates wasn't enough.
Inequality in Scotland is around five percentage points higher than it is in Nordic countries, according to the GINI index - commonly used as a measure of inequality of wealth.
But University of Stirling researchers Dr David Comerford and David Eiser warned that even an independent Scotland would find its new fiscal powers "relatively blunt tools with which to address inequality."
While small Nordic nations - favoured by the first minister as a model for independence - had lower levels of inequality than Scotland, they featured a more even distribution of income across the population, even before progressive tax and benefit policies were taken into account.
"Therefore, even with full autonomy for tax and benefit policy, the Scottish government might need to look beyond fiscal policy and redistribution to achieve the substantial reductions in inequality that it desires.
"Achieving Nordic levels of inequality in Scotland will likely have to involve some equalisation of incomes before taxes and benefits, rather than a large increase in redistribution," the report said.
The findings emerged as trade unionists in Scotland prepared for the national launch of Scotland's People's Assembly, a network of local pressure groups to demand socialist alternatives to Britain's austerity agenda.
Chairman Phil McGarry told the Morning Star he hoped to steer clear of the independence "bunfight" itself.
But he hoped the local assemblies would compel politicians and voters of all stripes to consider the People's Charter, with demands ranging from nationalisation of the finance sector and "essential industries" to interest-free home loans and rent controls.
"If the constitutional question is settled one way or the other on September 18, we still have a fair way to go to achieve equality in Scotland - no matter what colour your rosette," he said.
"The economic policy of austerity has failed and a window of opportunity exists to argue that there is a better way."
"The People's Assembly throughout the country has shown the way and we in Scotland will commit ourselves to mobilise support for fairness, justice, equality and restoration of our trade union rights.
"It's time austerity ended," he said.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.